NEW HISTORY WARFARE VOL. 2: JUDGES by Colin Stetson (Constellation)
Happily stranded in a musical Bermuda Triangle of experimental jazz, indie rock, and drone, multi-instrumentalist Colin Stetson plays fluttering compositions for sax, French horn, and clarinet. Unconventional guest vocals—Shara Worden’s rocketing falsetto and Laurie Anderson’s spoken-word jeremiads—grace Judges’ more rousing tracks and supplement the baffling horn work, lending Stetson’s ruminations a dignified desperation. An artist who regularly plays alongside the likes of the Arcade Fire, Tom Waits, and the National, Stetson is technically adroit and aesthetically provocative.
This article first appeared in the May-June 2011 issue of Utne Reader.